Thursday, February 6, 2014

Review's: Captivate by Vanessa Garden

Captivate by Vanessa Garden
Publisher- Harlequin Teen AU
Released- Jan 1st 2014
Purchase- Amazon 

In a glittering underwater world, nothing is as it seems...For the past twelve months since her parents’ death, seventeen-year-old Miranda Sun has harboured a dark secret — a secret that has strained the close relationship she once shared with her older sister, Lauren. In an effort to repair this broken bond, Miranda’s grandparents whisk the siblings away on a secluded beach holiday. Except before Miranda gets a chance to confess her life-changing secret, she’s dragged underwater by a mysterious stranger while taking a midnight swim.Awakening days later, Miranda discovers that she’s being held captive in a glittering underwater city by an arrogant young man named Marko...the King of this underwater civilisation.Nineteen-year-old Marko intends to marry Miranda in order to keep his crown from falling into the sinister clutches of his half-brother, Damir. There’s only one problem. Miranda is desperate to return home to right things with her sister and she wants nothing to do with Marko. Trying to secure her freedom, Miranda quickly forms an alliance with Robbie — Marko’s personal guard. However, she soon discovers that even underwater, people are hiding dangerous secrets...
My Thoughts:
Our story begins on a midnight swim in Bob’s bay, Australia. Lauren and Miranda are visiting their grandparents and spend every summer at the old holiday shack since they were born. It was the first time in almost a year the sisters spend any real time together or were really speaking to each other since the death of their parents, but before they could clear the air about what really happened on that faithful night, Miranda gets dragged underwater, drugged and taken captive. When she wakes she finds herself in a large bed, in a beautiful room filled with mermaid art, and shockingly discovers she’s under the deep blue sea in an underwater civilization.
Marin city is ruled by the young king, Marko, who is trying to perverse and protect his underwater palace by producing an heir so as to prevent his twisted older brother, Damir from taking over the throne. The only problem is, Marin’s women are barren and no child has been born in eighteen years. So Marko, went along with his sister Sylvia’s, decision to capture a young women from above, make her his queen and bear his child. While this doesn't exactly sit well with Marko, what real choice does he have if he wants to save his diminishing civilization and protect it from his sadistic brother who is obsessed with the idea of cutting up girls legs open and sewing them together to make mermaids tales?

Captivate turned out to be something much different then I originally thought it was. Truth, I thought this was about mermaids, and while it kinda relates to it in a very unusual and nontraditional way, it really isn't a mermaid book after all. But I’m actually glad that this turned out to be something else entirely. The concept is really quite nifty. I liked the idea of a vast civilization deep under the sea, ruled by a firm but kind king and learning about the history and traditions. I also thought it was pretty wicked to have an evil brother who liked to experiment on girls and turn them into mermaids. It’s sick of course, but the conflict and threat was still freaky cool. And even though there is the question between right and wrong regarding Miranda’s captivity, despite her circumstance, like her, I too was mesmerized and curious about this world and couldn't wait to explore more.

Marin is a stunning thriving city complete with built in oxygen vents, trees, plant life and even birds. It’s filled with thousands of people who have either come to the city willingly or been saved as drowning victims.
I really liked Miranda. She’s a feisty little thing that’s full of spunk and fight. Even though everyone seemed to be genuinely kind to her, she never stopped planning her escape. But the more she stayed in Marin, the more intrigued she became and eventually started to have feelings in her new-found friendships and was compelled enough to even want to stay.
Robbie is my favorite character. He was the one who originally took Miranda when she was enjoying her midnight swim with her sister and while he’s really the one to blame, he was just playing the part of the ever loyal guard to his best friend and king and was only doing his duty. His regret and remorse weighed heavily in his eyes and ever gesture. He hates what he had to do and makes sure that Miranda is as comfortable as possible. I liked how understanding, protective and kind he was, and really, he was the only friend Miranda had.
Marko was hard to like at first, but I think it was only because it took so long for Miranda to ‘want’ to get to know him. Understandably of course, but when she finally did we see a side to Marko that I’m sure not even his kingdom sees. He’s an arrogant and overly confident man but can also be playful, tender, sweet and alluring. He makes Miranda feel valued and attractive for the first time in her life. So while the connection may have took awhile to get there, eventually Marko won Miranda’s heart, as it did mine.
I did however have a little issue with how he treated Robbie at one point of the story, but since it worked out in the end, it’s easy to overlook. 

All in all, I rather liked this book. The ideas might be a little far fetched for some, but it’s a solid and unique concept with wonderful world building and back story. Vanessa Garden’s writing is absorbing and smart and the characters are beautifully put together, making me feel invested from minute one. There isn't a love triangle, but it’s well on it’s way of becoming one and since I like both guys, it’ll be interesting to see what happens. The ending was satisfying and quite perfect when you’re looking at it from a redeeming angle. But I also know the story doesn't end here and I’m really looking forward to seeing where Miranda’s story will venture next.

Find the author:
Goodreads / Website                           4 Snowflakes 

Amber's Thoughts...
Since Tina summed Captivate up beautifully, so I am going to add some of my personal thoughts and not get into the storyline itself. (But it was great :) )

First of all...that cover! Love! It's as intriguing as the story itself. This actually was a quick read. Once I started the book, I was easily swept into the protagonists life. When she was taken by Robbie (whom I totally adore!) her emotions absorbed into me and was very believable. The descriptions of Marin were perfect. I was able to imagine the underwater world and the castle Miranda was in. I could picture the room, the garden with the trees and the bird cage as well as the city itself.

While I adored  Miranda, Marco and Robbie, Marco's sister added quite a bit of fuel to the fire. I knew from the get-go she wasn't one to be trifled with. As much as we hate Sylvia and Marco's brother, Damir, I think Sylvia is just as malevolent and is up to no good. I have my theories about her and seriously cannot wait to see where her story goes next.

The relationship between Marco (Swoon) and Miranda began on a resentful and bitter note, but it slowly builds into something wonderful. He seemed to be a loose cannon at first, but after I learned about him and what he's been through I changed my opinion of him. There was a particular scene (which I used a few lines in a previous Teaser Tuesday) that melted my heart. I wanted to jump into those pages and kiss the crap out of him :D

The ending...gosh, I was a bit torn up on that one. The whole time I was reading, I cheered for Miranda and wanted her freedom as much as she did. By the ending I changed my mind. I wanted her to stay wrapped in Marco's arms and have babies with him LOL
I certainly will be awaiting that next book. Where it left off, I know this couple will be together again. And... I am crossing my fingers that Miranda's sister Lauren and Robbie meet and fall in love. (This is just my wishful thinking here)

Overall? Loved Captivate! It was original, mysterious, adventurous with romance, angst and a cast of great characters. I need #2!!!
                                                                         4 Snowflakes 


  1. Wow this book sounds flipping amazing! You ladies always showcase the best books so I'm glad you really enjoyed Captivate :D *adds to wishlist*

    1. Thanks Rebekah:-) This one took us both surprised, I hope you enjoy it!

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